Mar 14, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Bo Porter and the Astros are back at Space Coast Stadium today.
VIERA, Fla. — Davey Johnson has wanted his regulars to begin getting more playing time, and today nearly all of them will get an opportunity to start back-to-back games for the first time. This is essentially the same lineup as Johnson fielded yesterday, except for Steve Lombardozzi at third base instead of Chad Tracy.
Among those going back-to-back is Wilson Ramos, who caught five innings yesterday and is scheduled to do the same today. The only remaining hurdle for Ramos in his return from ACL surgery will be to play a full, nine-inning game. Johnson suggested today that neither Ramos nor fellow catcher Kurt Suzuki is likely to do that for another week or so.
Today is Ross Detwiler's turn to pitch, but with the lefty in Miami with Team USA, Chris Young will again get the nod for the Nationals. Young was a bit erratic in his first start, so he'll be seeking some more consistency this time out. Each one of the right-hander's outings is significant at this point, because he can opt out of his contract on March 24. If he pitches well, you've got to think there will be a couple of major-league clubs interested in his services.
Plenty of updates and analysis to come, so please check back often…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM), MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 59 degrees, Wind 17 mph out to CF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
DH Ryan Zimmerman
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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